News

SHARKS AT SOUL PREVIEW

05/05/2011 3:18 PM -

The top ranked Jacksonville Sharks (6-1) prepare to head north to battle the Philadelphia Soul (2-5) on Friday, May 6, 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center with kickoff at 7:00 pm EDT. The game can be heard live on 1010XL, hosted by Terry Norvelle. The game will also be streamed live on AFL Live, powered by NiftyTV.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams. This is the sixth season for the Philadelphia Soul but the first since 2008.

The Philadelphia Soul (2-5) will try for their first back-to-back win in 2011 against the Sharks this week. The Soul beat the Iowa Barnstormers 76-62 last week. The 76 points scored tied for third most points in a single game in Soul history. Leading the Soul is quarterback Ryan Vena. Vena is the leading passer and rusher for the team, accounting for 1,163 total yards and 30 total touchdowns this year. Another weapon on offense is wideout Donovan Morgan. His 869 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns leads all receivers on the team. A dynamic tool for the Soul, Morgan accounted for 1,707 yards and 52 receiving touchdowns as a Tulsa Talon last season.

Defensively, the Soul suffered a loss this week as defensive back Tanner Varner was placed on injured reserve. Varner was the most explosive defensive playmaker for the Soul as he accounted for five interceptions and led the team in tackles through seven games. The Soul will have to look to new players to make an impact. The Soul are currently tied for second in the league in sacks, led by defensive lineman Darrell Campbell with three on the season.

The Soul will be up against the top ranked Jacksonville Sharks (6-1) who have statistically never been hotter. The team is currently on an unprecedented six-game win-streak after las week's win over South Division rival Orlando Predators. In the win, the Sharks set several several franchise records along with one world record. Aaron Garcia passed for a professional football's first ever 1,000th touchdown. The Sharks set a franchise scoring record with 76 points and fullback Kirby Griffin surpassed last season’s rushing totals with over 150 yards - Griffin totaled 127 in 2010. The offense will look to exploit a secondary missing its leading defensive back in Tanner Varner. Wide receiver Jomo Wilson has at least two touchdowns in each game this year and Griffin has at least two touchdowns in each of the last four games.

The Sharks' pass rush is getting after opponent's signal callers. The Sharks notches three more sacks and a safety against the Predators. Linebacker Derrick Summers is now second in the AFL in sacks with 5.5. In his second game back from injury, defensive lineman Jerry Brown had a two-sack performance, one for a safety. This is only the third time the Sharks have had a two-sack game by a player and the second this season. Rookie linebacker Charles Hunt has made an impact in his last two games by leading the team in tackles. Hunt also intercepted an Orlando pass for a touchdown in last week's home-stand.

What to watch for:

•Will the Sharks struggle after coming off such an emotional win? The Sharks are 1-1 all time after facing Orlando.

•Can the Sharks clamp down on Soul WR Donovan Morgan? The Sharks are still currently ranked 17 (of 18) in pass defense and allowed three touchdowns each to Orlando WR’s Bobby Sippio and Josh Bush. Morgan has 869 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns so far this year.

• Will somebody step in for injured Soul defensive back Tanner Varner? The Soul must lock down an explosive Sharks offense that had three passes for 30 or more yards against Orlando.

• Can the Sharks continue their dominance running the ball? Sharks FB Kirby Griffin has at least 20 yards rushing in each of the last four games to go along with his touchdown streak.